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Mother's Day Audiobook

I remember thinking, when I wrote Mother's Day (which was published by Wildfire on March 2nd), "I hope they do an audiobook. I wonder which bloody actor is going to get to read this out loud..." That bloody actor turned out to be me. I recorded it at 2020 Recordings, with the very charming Saskia Black editing. She kept wheeling across to my window in the little booth to do "OMG!" faces at me, as the story unfolded, and she realised how twisted it really was.

I've never done an audiobook before, so starting with my own was either very lucky or a shedload of pressure, depending on whether you are a glass half-full or glass half-empty kind of person. Can you guess which I am? That's right! I'm a writer so the glass is just plain empty, nothing in it, dry as a bone.

I've got a lot of respect now for actors who do audiobooks. It's a really specific acting job - normally when you are acting in a different voice or physical demeanour or accent you can practice the lines, and you kind of change the way you think and move, but with a book you have to jump from one character to the next with no space in between. You'll have to listen to see if I managed it. The hardest thing was the accents - at one point I had to be Sligo talking to Dublin, and I'd been advised just to 'touch the accents in', which to someone who normally tries to be indistinguishable from the real thing, felt like saying, 'Do the accent badly'. At least, that's my excuse when you all write in about how terrible my accents are.

There are also two songs written specifically for the book, (I've written a musical before and it was one of the most exciting creative experiences of my life) and a part of me wished we could just play the songs with full backing track, how I hear them in my head. The first song is written by Dermot, Anna's boyfriend, as a kind of folk-pop hybrid. It's a celebration of life, and its chorus is "Fly high." That song stayed with me for months.

The second is a crazy old music hall song Marlene, Anna's mother sings to her when they meet. I had to write the whole song in order to quote from it. Maybe I'll get to make those tracks one day. I hope so.


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